Judge to consider Arabian horse case Friday

A Paonia man who wants Delta County to intercede on behalf of a herd of Arabian horses has until Nov. 12 to show he has standing to pursue the case.

Delta County District Judge Charles Greenacre pressed Greg Szymanski on whether he was in a position to seek legal action against Dona Bellinger, owner of Bellinger Arabian Horse Farm, 39079 Stucker Mesa Road, in Paonia.

If Szymanski can show on Nov. 12 that he has standing to bring suit, Greenacre scheduled the rest of the day to take testimony in the case.

If the court orders him to take action, Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee said he would be happy to enforce any order.

“If he can get standing, we support that,” McKee said soon after the hearing Thursday afternoon.

Deputy sheriffs are making routine checks of Bellinger’s herd, and so far the animals’ condition is such that no criminal action is warranted, McKee said.

Bellinger’s attorney, Ira Karet of Glenwood Springs, said later in a telephone interview he couldn’t comment on the case or condition of Bellinger’s horses because he had been recently hired.

Karet participated by telephone in the hearing before Greenacre.

Szymanski told Greenacre he had entered into an oral contract with Bellinger in which she agreed to reduce the size of her 46-head herd of Arabian horses by at least half.

He spent at least $9,000 on feed and other necessities for the horses and worked many hours at her ranch without compensation, Szymanski told the court.

He expected that Bellinger, however, would do nothing to reduce her herd to a manageable size, so he is seeking a court order before winter arrives, Szymanski said.


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